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Wednesday 16 September 2009

ADMIN USE ONLY | 17:28 UK time, Wednesday, 16 September 2009

News of tonight's programme from Gavin:

Tonight we're leading with a sensational development on a Newsnight investigation about a multi-national company and the dumping of hazardous waste in West Africa. Today we've had it confirmed that the largest class action ever brought before the British courts is about to be settled. The case follows the illegal dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast three years ago, which has been the subject of two Newsnight films. More than thirty thousand people from the West African country who say that they were harmed by the waste were involved in the action against Trafigura, a multi-national mineral trading company with a base in London. Read more on that story here.

Then we'll be assessing what the latest unemployment figures tell us about the recession, especially the news that the public sector is creating jobs while private sector employment continues to shrink. Justin Rowlatt investigates the public/private divide from Yorkshire.

And we'll be hearing about the leaked Treasury spending figures, and trying to understand whether Barack Obama really is a President who transcends the race issue - or not - following former President Jimmy Carter's surprise intervention: "I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man"

Do join me at 10.30pm on BBC Two.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Hi,

    Well done Newsnight,
    another result !
    some viewers may have varying views but thousands will benefit
    thanks,

    BGT

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    oh, that jj has jumped the queue again (special treatment from the bosses, eh?)
    my post from the previous page took much longer than his
    Well, anyway, at least it's there. In fact I'm pasting it here as it refers to one of tonight's subjects:
    55. At 6:43pm on 16 Sep 2009, you wrote:
    #54 from mimpromptu
    Barrie
    I've always found sweeping comparisons like that pointless, if not stupid, in fact. They are miles away from each other on many an issue. You share your first name with the dimunitive of Mr Obama's first name and I have a friend named Barrie /black black/ who is one of the Westminster sweepers. I would like to be able to consider all of you as my friends but cannot do so as I haven't met all of you in person. Well, I'm writing this really because there is a lot of misplaced identification going around affecting the media, etc By the way, I've always been like that,i.e. rigid identifications and generalisations. Perhaps that's one of the reasons I find creativity relatively easy in the areas I could be considered good at.

  • Comment number 4.

    And if I may, please, share a ditty with everybody of my experiences on ice today:
    It was nice on ice
    Not stupid nice nice
    But really very nice.

    And then there were smiles,
    Smiles upon more smiles.
    They were very nice those smiles

    A few smiles a day
    Keep the creeps creeps at bay!

    Thank you to those who've read it!
    mimpromptu

  • Comment number 5.

    ASYMMETRY: NOT BLACK OR WHITE

    "I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man"

    I hope this isn't just a predictable variant of 'they're only critical because s/he's Jewish'....

    Not too long ago, large numbers of black people were making the equally racist assertion that they supported him because he was black!

    How can one be unacceptable and the other acceptable?

  • Comment number 6.

    ITS POLLUTION JIM - BUT NOT AS WE ADMIT IT

    Dear old Capn. Kirk. Always concerned not to contaminate other cultures. But then he fell for every green bird in the Cosmos, and thumped anyone who got in his way.

    The CULTURAL POLLUTION that we have dumped on every region of this planet, FAR EXCEEDS any physical act. What is more: WE STILL BELIEVE IN POLLUTION OF THE CULTURAL VARIETY; exporting our 'morality', schooling, 'trade or bust ethos' and that damnable religion, so beloved (and believed) of the Arch of Cant.

    Oh Newsnight - no doubt you are feeling so worthy at this moment, with your dogged reporting of lesser pollution. Shall we have 'son et lumiere' all over this triumph? What great works you might do if you had the odd philosopher in your ranks, and addressed the underlying malaise of mankind and his moribund world. And in the future, people might even say: "10.30pm (BBC 2) THIS WAS THEIR FINEST HOUR!" Well - 50 minutes ish.

  • Comment number 7.

    from mimpromptu:
    As there seems to be a problem at #3, I'd like to enclose the following so that it is not missed:
    55. At 6:43pm on 16 Sep 2009, you wrote:
    #54 from mimpromptu
    Barrie
    I've always found sweeping comparisons like that pointless, if not stupid, in fact. They are miles away from each other on many an issue. You share your first name with the dimunitive of Mr Obama's first name and I have a friend named Barrie who is one of the Westminster sweepers. I would like to be able to consider all of you as my friends but cannot do so as I haven't met all of you in person. Well, I'm writing this really because there is a lot of misplaced identification going around affecting the media, etc By the way, I've always been like that,i.e. rigid identifications and generalisations. Perhaps that's one of the reasons I find creativity relatively easy in the areas I could be considered good at.

  • Comment number 8.

    #5jj I suppose the simple answer is that hypocrisy is a human condition.

    However, we should congratulate ourselves on being less out-of-step with nature and our planet than some would claim; although homesaps are more tolerant of difference than all other species and occasionally like to experiment with change, we usually prefer people that are most like ourselves. Let's stop feeling guilty about it.

  • Comment number 9.

    ALL 'NOBLE SAVAGES' ARE BLACK, BUT SOME ARE MORE BLACK THAN OTHERS.

    Yo Blogdog! The title (above) is a parody of the 'Animal Farm' credo that all animals are equal but some are more equal than others.

    My point is that had Obama been - how do I put this - er - very African, I don't think his colour would have been an advantage, and the Peanut Vendor would probably have had a point. I feel sure that, had Beautiful Obama not gone for Law and Politics, he could have done well in the catalogues; and there is no better judge of acceptability than commerce. (:o)

  • Comment number 10.

    # 2. At 6:42pm on 16 Sep 2009, duhbuh wrote:
    This comment has been referred to the moderators. Explain.



    Newsnight is an exemplary programme which typifies the BBC's high standards of impartial journalism. Furthermore, the Obama-supporting activist group ACORN is not corrupt in the slightest. The fact that its activities have caused the US Census Bureau, the US Senate and the New York State Attorney General to cut ties is, quite correctly, of no interest to the BBC, especially when there's the far more important task of slandering conservative Americans as racist. Again.

    Also, Greg Palast is everything an objective journalist should be, and more.

    There, is that OK moderators?

  • Comment number 11.

    #56 from previous page
    Thank you for your response. What I do like about Barack Obama is both his intellect and his feeling and open nature. I do not analyse every word he says and I don't always agree with him on everything anyway.
    I have always felt affinity with him in respect to his approach to politics, communication and culture, though, for example, we do not seem to share necessarily the same taste for music, etc. It's just possible that you do not understand what it is rather than the other way round. One reason for the affinity, however, I think, is his lifelong exposure to different cultures and different people bringing him up as a child, things I've experienced myself.
    I don't want to go into the analysis of the differences between Barack Obama and Tony Blair here but you seem obsessive making the same comment over and over again. It's becoming tedious. Why not criticise specific things he's either written or said in his speeches, for example? That would make it much more interesting.
    By the way, Barrie the sweeper is black black.
    mimpromptu

  • Comment number 12.

    indignantindegene (#8) "I suppose the simple answer is that hypocrisy is a human condition."

    I fear it's much worse than that. Ity's greater in some groups than others perhaps? It's also evidence of something very fishy going on politically, which is discriminatory against White people, as there are innumerable Jewish websites extolling the special virtues/accomplishments of Jews. Why isn't that severely criticized as racist and pro-semitic? Any White group doing this would be would it not?

    The fact is that the ad hominem has two faces. Both celebritism and defamation are irrational (invalid logically). Yet the positive face of the ad hominem is abused all the time in advertising, with impunity.....

    Is this food for much thought in terms of covert socio-economic affirmative action? Is this not how minority groups have gone about exploiting majority (host) groups with the latter too intimidated to protest at how this ruse has been played, literally at their expense?

  • Comment number 13.

    SOMETIMES IT IS BETTER NOT TO CALL A SPADE A SPADE (Ref my #9, which has gone down the moderator hole)

    Ho IDG2 @8! I have no problem agreeing that CEREBRAL Homsap has the nous to be very tolerant of difference, indeed. However, his unavoidable vehicle - ANIMAL Homsap, is a difference junkie, and as ALL Homsaps discover alcohol before the wheel (and alcohol sees off the cerebral function as its first act) difference (in alcoholic UK culture) will play a big part when multiculturalism comes a cropper.

    I for one stopped feeling guilty about being POTENTIALLY 'differencist' (though alcohol free) a long time back. But I think the Blogdog fails to realise the HIGH MINDED nature of my observations!

  • Comment number 14.

    SANTA, THE TOOTH-FAIRY AND OTHER CELEBRITIES

    mimpromptu (#11) "What I do like about Barack Obama is both his intellect and his feeling and open nature. I do not analyse every word he says and I don't always agree with him on everything anyway."

    You do realise that much that politicians (and celebrities) say is not their own words but what their speech writers and Communication Directors have them say? It's the same with actors and actresses Mimpromptu. Sometimes actors become politicians. In fact, many politicians are selected because they are such good actors.

  • Comment number 15.

    MEMO TO ALL BBC NEWS DEPTS

    Jon Stewart mentioned the growing ACORN scandal on the Daily Show, so it's now officially OK to mention it if you want.

    THE MANAGEMENT.

  • Comment number 16.

    DISHING IT OUT BUT NOT TAKING IT (Two down the moderator hole)

    "I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man"

    This appears to me to raise the issue of Barack Obamas COLOUR indeed his BLACKNESS. Fair comment? But is 'black' the simple opposite of 'white'? I VENTURE to suggest that Barack Obama has a combination of 'non-white' (as opposed to black black) and of white, that is found attractive by self-identifying white people - in the way they find a tan attractive - but found 'black' by self-identifying black people in terms of a, longed for, success over the historic white dominance. To avoid being 'holed' again, I leave the rest of what I would wish to write to the intelligent reader.

  • Comment number 17.

    #12 JJ
    "Is this not how minority groups have gone about exploiting majority (host) groups with the latter too intimidated to protest at how this ruse has been played, literally at their expense?"

    You have pointed out how this has occured in USA and elsewhere, but I can concur only with regard to United Kingdom.

    We were once proud of our resistance to intimidation, but our independence of thought and action have been fettered by legislation, initially against unfair discrimination but progressively all-embracing. Our true identity and nature has also become hidden within the miscellaneous category of 'British' which no longer defines or distinguishes the English. That is why I place some hope in the recent entry of organisations bearing the title English. A fairly forlorn hope, but it might catch on, particularly if the Scots decide to go for independence. Otherwise,it could ultimately result in more clashes of the cultures or self-extinction.

  • Comment number 18.

    Of course there would have probably never have been any Toxic Waste to Africa trade if the eco-fascists hadn't stopped companies building toxic waste incinerators in Europe, particularly Britain. Such incinerators are perfectly safe and environmentally sound if fitted with the latest flue gas scrubbing technology. Our local cement works burns print industry waste solvents to save coal, said fuel is just as potentially nasty as what was exported to Africa. All the sulphur is turned into gypsum, our local air quality is brilliant whatever duff coal they are using, a proportion of shredded scrap tyres and even some BSE suspect meat and bone meal.

  • Comment number 19.

    indignantindigene (#17) Indeed. In fact, there are many Black, S. Asian, Chinese, and Jewish Britons who feel much the same way. The egregious game which has been played has nothing to do with race per se, but class consciousness. This has been abused for anarchistic political purposes I argue. There are classes, in the logical/mathematical sense of set or group. Gene-barriers have created inequalities in the distribution or prevalence of alleles (polymorphisms of genes). Groups seperate, and join, along lines of ability and disposition, i.e. common purpose. This makes families, tribes etc. This results in similarities phenotypically. All groups recognize these qualities and so there is some truth to stereotypes. It just isn't absolute truth - it's probabilistic. Sadly, what we're seeing these days is an assault on Gentile White identity. This is political, it's opportunistic, and it's also painfully obvious.

  • Comment number 20.

    #6 & #16
    Barrie
    Although I quite like plain and simple talking, as long as it is not deterministic or prescriptive, I also like creative writing which can then be open to interpretation and I much prefer when you use your creative streak when you write. You seem to have a knack for it.
    mimpromptu

  • Comment number 21.

    from mimpromptu
    Perhaps the day will come when we won't have to talk of people as black or yellow or white, but rather of what each individual represents as a person, at whatever level. Personally, with the election of Mr Obama as the President of the USA,I'm very happy for the black/black and black/white people at present after all the discrimination they have suffered by racial prejudice, but ultimately the colour shouldn't be an issue at all.

  • Comment number 22.

    In the item on President Obama everybody was (rightly) very serious when discussing racism. Then one of the contributors explained his disagreement with something President Carter said by calling him (Carter)'senile'. Everybody, including Gavin Estler, thought this was hilarious and Gavin was still laughing when the item ended. Why do otherwise sensitive, intelligent people,have such contempt for older people? Shame on you Gavin. You have left me feeling very sad. But one day you'll be in your seventies, and you may not find it funny then to be verbally abused because someone disagrees with you.

  • Comment number 23.

    DIFFERENCISM LIES TOO DEEP TO BE ERADICATED IN A FEW THOUSAND YEARS (#21)

    Dear Mim, are you not aware that the polar ice record shows the earth climate to be cyclic, and that warm interludes, such as this one, that mankind has just used to mess up the planet, are anomalous and fleeting?
    The high probability is that all our efforts towards global nihilism, will be reclaimed by harsh climate and survival of the fittest. It is to be expected that groups will, once again, isolate and differentiate; being accepting of their own kind and SUSPICIOUS OF, OR HOSTILE TO all others.
    I hold the view that the male (fighter/defender) is far more strongly primed to this 'DIFFERENCISM' than the female.

    Incidentally, just because football crowds no longer shout differencist 'constructions', does not mean they are not thinking like differencists. When the 'scanner gun' is invented (for use by the thought-police, much as traffic-police use the speed gun)it will surely show football fans' thoughts unchanged. The joke is, of course, that the police are the most differencist group of all! (Never let it be said.)

  • Comment number 24.

    THE TRICK IS TO USE THE FIRST 70 YEARS TO GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE, BUT TO STAY IN YOUR PRAM. (#22)

    When my dad was 90, he called anyone over 70 a 'silly old fool'. The sight, this evening, of a black bloke calling a 'revered' white bloke 'senile' (because he had gone off on a PC trip) I (at 72) found deeply satisfying. And I invite anyone on these threads to call me anything you care to, without constraint. I doubt the Blogdog will want to stop you! (:o)

  • Comment number 25.

    #23 & #24 from mimpromptu
    Barrie
    I'm under no illusion really about differential blokes, etc, but the shift of perception is happening whatever you say.
    There is police and police, Barrie. I too keep in touch with some of them.
    I'm not in the mood to call you names tonight but your permission for me to do so pleases me no end.

  • Comment number 26.

    #14
    #14 from mimpromptu
    Why jj? Have you been doing all the choosing with the help of the tooth fairy?
    For some reason your post reminds me of a post sent by NewFazer on 21 July this year which reads as follows:
    'Come on Impromptu, it's time to wake up and smell the ordure. It's YOU who have been duped by those who seek to take advantage of you. And yes, many presidents/prime ministers ARE idiots, the 'useful idiots' put in place by those same people who have taken you for a ride.'
    There must be an all-powerful genius at work here. Do you agree, jj?

  • Comment number 27.

    a response to #34 from the previous page from mimpromptu
    What a fitting depiction of yourself jj, isn't it?
    Seeking justification, are you? Most people from my life that you've manipulated I still consider as friends, so your scheme, I'm afraid, has been unsuccessful.

  • Comment number 28.

    #28
    If I were you, jj, I would give myself up but then who am I to tell you what to do?
    mimpromptu

  • Comment number 29.

    from mimpromptu
    I have just watched the discussion about Barack Obama. Armstrong Williams is absolutely right about the magnanimous character of the current President of the USA when apologised to. Methinks it's one of his greatest strengths, in fact. When one does things for real it's the issue at stake that counts, not some petty attacks and silly manipulations. I also think that it is a sign of greatness to have the ability of not taking everything thrown at one personally.

  • Comment number 30.

    from mimpromptu
    In my last few posts I've been singing Mr Obama's praises but to show I'm not a 'blind' follower of his, I'd like to express some doubts about his foreign disarmament policy. Belos is an example:
    Apparently a 4 crew USA delegation is on its way to Poland with plans for scrapping the anti-rocket system previously envisaged by George Bush administration.
    Well, I'm worried that he is giving in to pressure from Putin & co who after all isn't even the Russian President.

  • Comment number 31.

    mimpromptu (#25-#29) For someone who states that sbe doesn't know much about many of these issues and who prefers to do other things instead, don't you think it might be more in your interest (and certainly be more self-consistent) to listen and learn from others who do know more than you, rather than abusing them and fabricating untruths to preserve your mental status quo?

    Like many others, you seem to appeal to large numbers of imagined people (who also get things wrong), in order to justify persisting with your false beliefs. It's truly a wonder that ever learn anything worthwhile with such a flawed modus vivendi.

    Once again, I suggest you try to listen, follow, and learn. It may work to your advantage in ways which you currently can not see. It's usually the way.

  • Comment number 32.

    Meanwhile, back at discussing topics, Newsnight's take on them, and not each other - '...the public sector is creating jobs'

    Well, at least one senior member seems to be doing her bit....er...

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/6200069/Baroness-Scotland-employed-illegal-immigrant-as-her-housekeeper.html

    Another 'fine' (well, we'll see) Baroness Gordon has got us into.

    This whole GOAT herd is really showing their mettle.

    Thanking Barrie for the prompt, we'll have to see if, when it comes to the consequences of being in 'ignorance of the law is no excuse', some equal but more elevated members of society are treated more 'sympathetically' by their peers than the lesser orders.

    I used to think the appellation Baroness was accorded at the end of a career of talented service. Now it seems to be more at the beginning of one to stuff our Houses with cronies... of evidently less than startling ability.


  • Comment number 33.

  • Comment number 34.

    #31 jj
    I'm not interested, really and truly
    mimpromptu

  • Comment number 35.

    Punctuation matters here, so I hope I can get tone into text in an attempt at a brief venture into an off-topic, negative world that often spoils my day, at least:

    'Yah Boo'... sucks. Really, it does.

  • Comment number 36.

    mimpromptu (#34) "I'm not interested, really and truly"

    We will collectively judge that assertion's veracity by your future verbal behaviour posted here.

  • Comment number 37.

    #36
    who's the collective?
    the fact that I've decided to respond to you every now and then is not a sign of having any interest in you; in fact, that's probably it.
    by addressing you directly I wanted to expose your words and 'actions' to the other bloggers and people who read my posts, and I have a feeling there may be quite a few of them, with some in high places. If I'm wrong about the people in high places, so be it, I may be imagining things and am quite happy to accept the fact

  • Comment number 38.

    I'm sorry that the remarks by one guest about President Carter not only went unchallenged by Gavin Esler but seem to provoke schoolboy sniggering by both him and the other guest, I thought it was pretty poor stuff and NN's standards of journalism seemed to have dropped at this point.

  • Comment number 39.


    #13 Barrie "I for one stopped feeling guilty about being POTENTIALLY 'differencist' (though alcohol free) a long time back. But I think the Blogdog fails to realise the HIGH MINDED nature of my observations! Keep posting Barrie; your observations are not lost on us.
    #12/19 JJ "Sadly, what we're seeing these days is an assault on Gentile White identity"

    I can't bring the same level of intellect to bear on the topic, but I have my simplistic analysis of one reason we are vulnerable to assault, which is to do with our differencist nature. We have lost, or thrown out most of what JJ refers to as 'common purposes'.

    As a boy, I had many groups to associate myself with from Cubs, Boy Scouts, even the Church Lad's Brigade, I joined them all, and had plenty of schoolmates and gangs too. WWII was a major common purpose for us all.

    Later, I enjoyed the camaraderie of National Service, and at that time we still had respect for, and allegience to, the church, royalty, senior statesmen, BBC, and identified within a class system. All of those have now lost our respect for one reason or another - mainly due to mass media better informing us of the facts behind the fantasies.

    In retirement, males have even fewer group associations, which is one reason for their obsession with one football, rugby or cricket team. That gene is missing in my family. So my main allegience or common purpose has been to family(now far-flung)and country of birth - England. Not having much in common with local community I cling to a vestige of patriotism (such as seen once a year at Last Night of the Proms).

    Policies such as Multiculturalism, subservience to European Union and 'British' categorisation has eclipsed our English nationality and defamed patriotism, o'whelming them with groups that have strong common purposes. It's great being a differencist 'but united we stand, divided we fall' so we have only our blogging to voice our individual opinions, when we really need a national body to focus and amplify our views, on our way to becoming an ethnic minority in our own land. That's why I welcome organisations with 'English' in their title (English Workers' Union, etc)and hope that Scotland will go for independence.

    One cannot form organisations for whites only, although the opposites are allowed to flourish, so Let's hear it for the English.

  • Comment number 40.

    FEYNMAN WAS RIGHT! THE MODEREY-HOLE WORKS BOTH WAYS! (#9 & 13)

    I'm back from Purgatory - Hell would not have me - apparently.

    Anyway: full marks to the moderators.

  • Comment number 41.

    Excellent piece on Trafigura that is getting much deserved praise. Good dogged investigative journalism that I don't think we would get from a "Fox News world".

    Is anybody that surprised the missile defence shield has been shelved? It was always an incoherent plan that did not reflect the realities of the world with regard to rogue states and terrorists (suitcase bombs, dirty bombs and son).

  • Comment number 42.

    REST ASSURED MIMPROMPTU (#37)

    I have read both your postings and those of Jaded Jean - applying O-level English (two goes) - and have drawn my conclusions. . .

  • Comment number 43.

    #32 junkkmale "Meanwhile, back at discussing topics, Newsnight's take on them, and not each other - '...the public sector is creating jobs' "

    But, creating jobs for who?
    The TUC conference didn't make very exciting viewing yesterday, passing plenty of motions unanimously without debate. However, one delegate in the Maritime Industry described himself and the British seaman as an endangered species and explained how they are being totally replaced by foreign crews. He stated that even British ships plying between British ports are exempt from minimum wage and apparently from HR legislation, and are employing cheap foreign labour at as low as £2/hour and working up to 90hr week.

    This industry should be providing training programmes for some of our millions of unemployed youths, but it was stated that the government had failed to even reply to submissions over the past 2 years. After several false statements by Labour last year that most 'newly created' jobs went to British workers, it was established that most went to immigrants; and many of those jobs were 'newly-created' in the public sector in order to service the enlarged poipulation due to immigration!

    I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but are these errors of ommission - or commission?

  • Comment number 44.

    #31 jaded_Jean

    "don't you think it might be more in your interest (and certainly be more self-consistent) to listen and learn from others who do know more than you, rather than abusing them and fabricating untruths to preserve your mental status quo?
    "

    Another shotgun taken to the feet of Jaded_Jean by jaded_Jean.

    You clearly DON'T know more than others on the Holocaust where you are "agnostic". You claim to know plenty about statistics but the "statistics" you base your arguments on don't seem to exist as the majority of experts believe there was no reliable census data to determine numbers of Jews prior to WWII. In any event you bypass all of the trails, witness statements and confessions because that doesn't suit.

    You DON'T know much about history - "Hitler was a peace lover"

    You DON'T know much about genetics - your race "realism" is at odds with the scientific world as genetic variation IS greater within a race than between races. Your eugenics nonsense similarly folds.

    You talk of fabrication - an adherent to the notion of the Jewish Communist International?

    Its too tragic to be funny and is instead manifestly evil.

  • Comment number 45.

    Muhammed Ali used to say 'the bluebirds fly with the bluebirds, and the blackbirds fly with the blackbirds' they must know something.....the way he was treated in the sixties he again summed up the vitriol by his white bretheren as, ' the N......talks too much' That is still how a large section of white America view President Obama, it is hard to change the ignorance of centuries with one election. This a long time thing....

  • Comment number 46.

    #23 barriesingleton

    "It is to be expected that groups will, once again, isolate and differentiate; being accepting of their own kind and SUSPICIOUS OF, OR HOSTILE TO all others."

    No it is to be expected that science and the break down of deference towards leaders means most peoples will realise that they have far more to be gained from cooperation. Evidence for this is seen in the EU - created to prevent the hostility of WWII breaking out , the UN, the international reaction to climate change.

    People always do accept their "own kind" and not falling prey to those who try to manipulate others against a particular race or group is what prevents racist evil and all that entails.

  • Comment number 47.

    REDEFINING THE COWARD

    A suicide bomber has attacked Italian troops in Kabul. He is branded a coward. I am moved to repost:

    CRUISE LINE

    Blair’s Holy War came to London today
    a cowardly act, I heard someone say
    no warning - just suddenly all blown away
    so much fairer to use a Cruise Missile.

    You can’t kill your Granny who’s begging to die
    and no fish must suffer, not even small fry
    go slaughter Iraqis on back of a lie
    it’s quite fair if you use a Cruise Missile

    The pre-emptive strike now accepted worldwide
    guilty till innocent - nowhere to hide
    evil-doers can be bombed where their families reside
    but play fair and deploy a Cruise Missile.

    Make poverty history - cancel the debt
    but what of the poverty lingering yet
    in the hearts of those men whose ambitions are met
    as they launch that cowardly Cruise Missile?

    Hello Newsnight! Any chance of covering this fundamental point with a PHILOSOPHER, in the near future? When you have 'done' cowardice, follow up with 'hero' and then perhaps 'courage'. Oh - and give the 'visual enhancers' a day off, when you do.

  • Comment number 48.

    Any regular visitor to this page knows the BNP like to say "anarchist and Trotskyite" - a lot! This is because of their National Socialist background.

    But in public they proclaim they are "not a Nazi party" but are "nationalist" and "modern and progressive".

    The problem of course is that in their own jargon anybody who is not a Stalinist or a National Socialist is "an anarchist and Trotskyite".

    So you would hope that as the BNP are going to get air time this very telling conflict of ideas will be exposed and the truth drawn out.

    It could be of course that they intend to call a membership rally and then drop some Zyclon-B tablets into the water to take care of the anarchists and Trotskyites as they all sit about in the hall. A sort of Jonestown situation.

    They are that confused.

    But if you want to hear confused ask them about their Holocaust "agnosticism"!

  • Comment number 49.

    #8 indignatindegene

    "we usually prefer people that are most like ourselves. Let's stop feeling guilty about it."

    You mean like the BNP don't feel guilty about?

    Passive racism is something that confronts everybody at some time - but most get over that hurdle as there is evidence in science that there are few differences between the races other than cosmetic ones.

    Active racism based on vile notions of racial difference are clearly more to do with other psychological issues.

    So those that try to bypass the fact that genetic variation IS greater within a race than between races are doing so from an incoherent and emotional mental state.

    Surely you have read the posts of the Hitler-revering Jaded_Jean?

    This is a classic example of somebody so emotionally committed to a doctrine they cannot grasp how stupid it actually is and will assume that the error is others.

    They just don't have a mirror to look into.

  • Comment number 50.

    Has the US and/or Pakistan indicated what they will do if they close in on bin Laden?

    They seem to be making good progress and if he has been holed up in a villa in the Swat valley with lake side views he is probably on the move with his dialysis machine.

    My point is that whilst I am against the death penalty if he is taken alive and there is the benefit of people seeing that he has clay feet and poor arguments for mass murder.

    But he would probably provoke a lot of hostage taking or a "spectacular" and so on.

    Probably its worth the hit but and perhaps a Stinger with his name on it would also draw the same response anyway.

  • Comment number 51.

    The Baroness of Scoootland:

    Have you seen this woman perform?..not a bright bunny. How she ever reached high office is beyond anyone's comprehension...I call it the Jack Straw syndrome; the ability to get a top job whilst having no talent for it. Employing an illegal - whose visa ran out 5yrs ago - carries a heavy fine and a 2yr prison sentence. The Baroness could claim ignorance as a defence...which in her case, would be technically true.


    Jimmy Carter: to suggest he is senile may sound a bit harsh but from a Yanks point of view, is more a reference to his poor presidency. Carter never got to grips with anything, always looked stupid and always made bad judements; does anybody remember Iran! The charge of 'anti-semite' sticks with him even today. It also never helped that he was a liberal (this is why he is regarded as the worst president in living memory) head buried in the sand and hoping problems would just go away. They let him loose from time to time on the world stage but the press mics are generally pulled away from him by hired aids on account he always upsets the Jews.

  • Comment number 52.

    #26 mimpromptu

    Trying to get the far right to explain their Jewish International Conspiracy is like trying to persuade somebody who can see the faces of UFO -Gods in the mountains of Mars that they could be natural formations.

    Personally I think it is almost worth a piece for Newsnight - what drives the far right hatred of Jews because it ain't facts.

    I am not Jewish by the way but in their jargon if you point out its a rubbish idea layered on rubbish (leading to gross evil) you become "a running dog" of the Jews and/or " a useful idiot".

    They're coming to take them away ha ha!

  • Comment number 53.

    INTELLECT IS AS INTELLECT BLOGS (#39)

    Beautifully composed, unpretentious prose IDG2, moderate and defensible.

    "All of those have now lost our respect for one reason or another - mainly due to mass media better informing us of the facts behind the fantasies."

    That observation deeply significant. 'The facts behind the fantasies' - a telling phrase.

    Over a few hundred years, APPARENT POWER shifted from the uninspected (corrupt and cruel) leaders, for whom we had respect, in our ignorance, so it 'worked'. It shifted to universal suffrage of increasingly juvenile (educated X 3) 'idiots'. The upshot is 'no change' All an illusion. 'They' are still cruel and corrupt. A small number of us know this, while the rest think they live in a democracy. Meanwhile Bilderberg are tunnelling. . .

    Then there is JJ's assertion (backed with logical stuff) that we are doomed to end up dumb anyway! Back to rocking and weeping.

  • Comment number 54.

    SHORT, UGLY, SENSITIVE, CARING, LAWYERS NEED NOT APPLY (#45)

    Looks, and even oratory, are appealing to the 'animal appreciation' of the mass - part of damnable charisma. Hence, Obama is President IN SPITE OF any possible assessment by higher cerebral function. (Blair rose in exactly the same way.) If Obama is, conversely, ATTACKED as a consequence of the animal instincts of others, might his presidency not be a parallel to 'live by the sword die by the sword'?

  • Comment number 55.

    The Guardian, with whom you collaborated on the Trafigura story, describes the company as a "British oil trader". You own description of it being a "multi-national mineral trading company with a base in London" is only marginally more accurate. Why are you, like The Guardian, unable to make clear that Trafigura is a Swiss company with Swiss owners and with its main base in Switzerland?

  • Comment number 56.

    aids is rife in Africa, millions of children die of malaria each year, drug companies make obscene profits yet millions still die because they cannot afford life saving drugs, do you wanna dump your toxic waste? No problem, just dump it in Africa..it is the worlds dumping ground. In previous centuries we expolited and stole everything that continent possessed and now we just dump our hazardous waste all over it. And nobody gives a f...

  • Comment number 57.

    mimpromptu (#37) "who's the collective?" A collective is more than one person. This is public forum. More than one person reads/posts.

    We show what we're interested in by the time that we allocate via our behaviours. What you say you are interested in (and the affective sign is not relevant here as you spend a lot of your time here posting on this matter as we can all see) does not match how you allocate your behaviours/time. You are, it is fair to say, therefore either unaware of some of your emitted behaviours and how they are seen by others or not being honest. I am just helping you to get a better grasp of what's true and what's false. Much that you post is false at present. What I'm doing is a good thing, though you may not see it that way.

  • Comment number 58.

    thegangofone (#52) "Trying to get the far right to explain their Jewish International Conspiracy is like trying to persuade somebody who can see the faces of UFO"

    On he other hand, maybe you just are not very bright.

    Please read this from Churchill in Hansard 1919. Find Ludendorf. Then read this from Hansard.

    What you then have to imagine is that the Germans in the 1920s and 1930s were actually telling the truth, and that people since 1941 may have been 'extra specially economical' with the truth. Politics is a dirty game. Some people are prone not to tell the truth in order to secure economic and other advantage. It's criminal... It's also psychopathic.

  • Comment number 59.

    #49 Gof1 "Passive racism is something that confronts everybody at some time - but most get over that hurdle as there is evidence in science that there are few differences between the races other than cosmetic ones." + your usual cut-and-paste publicity for BNP.

    But passive acceptance of the uncontrolled immigration of alien cultures is the hurdle that will be our downfall.

    Irrespective of whether there are few or many differences between races(a subject on which I have far more practical experience than you) the whole world (except you) is now aware that there are major differences in cultures, religions and values. For instance many of us are not about to 'get over' and accept forced marriages, honour killings, beheading and various forms of mutilation; nor are the majority going to convert to primitive religious beliefs. Similarly, those from other cultures are never going to accept the in-your-face sexuality and pornography that our degree of 'freedom' permits, or the unacceptable face of capitalism.

    On the exceptionally good NN special on Monday, the closing panel of very disparate personalities concurred that attempts by the Western nations to force their form of democracy and capitalism on others is dead-in-the-water, as these have been found seriously wanting.

    So, let's enjoy cultural differences - on TV or by tourism - but not in my backyard, which is overcrowded and has become the land of lost content

  • Comment number 60.

    Barrie, one good review deserves another as you have supplied the phrase that explains the closed-loop responses from the repetitive gangrene of one: Bilderberg are tunnelling into the brains of a chosen few implanting their oneworldgovernment smart card.

    comment about this complaint

  • Comment number 61.

    AFFIRMATIVE ACTION POLITICS

    thecookieducker (#51) "They let him loose from time to time on the world stage but the press mics are generally pulled away from him by hired aids on account he always upsets the Jews."

    So, imagine. Another group. Say burglars. Every time someone in the neighbourhood speaks out about this gang of burglars, their legal/PR representatives manages to put pressure on those complaining so they shut up. "That group complaining are just prejudiced. They just have it in for my clients. If they keep on with their hateful talk, we will seek legal redress and damages."

    Meanwhile....stuff mysteriously continues to go missing...and the family across the roa gets richer and more powerful..

    There are people about who do this. Sadly.

  • Comment number 62.

    HAVE THE YANKS PERFECTED THEIR AIRBORN LASER?

    The sudden cancellation of the anti-missile shield, by Obama, has a ring of confidence. Almost as if they have stolen a march in weaponry . . .

  • Comment number 63.

    #62

    What do you know about this?

  • Comment number 64.

    9/11 SPIN-OFF: RATHER LIKE THE NON-STICK PAN (#63)

    In my personal enquiry into the anomalous 'descent' of three building at 9/11, I fell over one of the theories floated to account for burnt cars. I then poked about bit on the internet.
    I have no way of knowing the accuracy of the reports (and images) but would be amazed if the USA does NOT have a laser weapon, so do not dismiss claims that one is installled in a Jumbo, as on the web.
    Were I in possession of such a weapon, I might well term it 'ship based' even if I knew it would be an aircraft carrier, and mounted on planes. It might put off the odd, thick enemy? Just a wild shot really - but sure to come.

  • Comment number 65.

    Addendum (#61) To make the picture just a little bit more unpleasant (but realistic?), those who were very happy to make money out of the 'sub-prime' (underclass) population in the USA are not happy at all about the prospect of funding the same people's massively growing health-care needs.

 

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